Understanding today’s coatings for claddings
Even those best-designed, well-constructed buildings degrade if the appropriate exterior coating and finishes are not applied and maintained in a timely manner—this is especially true for demanding environments. Fortunately, there is a wide-ranging array of high-performance architectural coatings available today that can not only safeguard a building’s value, but also create dramatic visual appeal.
It is important to differentiate in the architectural world between the terms, ‘paints’ and ‘coatings.’ The definitions can often blur and be confusing, especially as the industry continues to evolve. The term ‘paint’ can refer to any coating, but is more typically marketed for aesthetics and the general DIY market. The term ‘coating’—especially those deemed ‘functional’ or ‘protective’—applies to products that have likely been tested to meet independent, and often higher, standards. (A third term, ‘finishes,’ should not be confused with paints or coatings, even though all three are often incorrectly treated as being interchangeable. Solids make up the bulk of finish products, and they are applied with a trowel in contrast to coatings and paints that rely on spray units, rollers, and brushes. Some finishes may offer protection from the elements depending on build and quality, while others may be purely decorative.)
Originally published in The Construction Specifier • November 2016
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